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Turning light bulbs into playgrounds

by Nicole Bogdanovic
March 21, 2017

Energy efficiency, Electricity

Lacey recognizes an opportunity when she sees it. She's a self-described high-energy busy working mom who has a hard time saying no when she sees a need and a way to fix it. As the fundraising chair for her kids' elementary school Parent Advisory Council (PAC), she's looking to raise funds to expand the playground for the school's growing population, make enhancements to the music room and bring innovative field trips to the school.

When she learned FortisBC was offering 20,000 LED light bulbs, at no charge, to PACs and scouting groups as a unique fundraising opportunity, she was quick to sign up.

“What? Wicked? I can do light bulbs,” said Lacey.

A total of 15 PACs and 13 scout groups in 15 communities in the Okanagan and Kootenays received shipments of light bulbs last October. Each set their own price and timeline and most have already sold out.

Lacey's school, Black Mountain Elementary in Kelowna, received 1,000 light bulbs and are selling them for $5 each, which should add up to a nice profit of $5,000 for their many worthy projects.

“To get 100 per cent of the profit from what we sell is super generous of FortisBC,” added Lacey.

Each of the ENERGY STAR® certified LEDs can replace a standard 60 watt incandescent bulb, but use only 9.5 watts, or about 80 per cent less energy. They’re expected to last much longer too—about 22 years with regular household use. They normally retail for about $12 each.

Along with the light bulbs, the scouts and PACs distribute additional energy-saving information with each sale.

“While saving energy on lighting is helpful, space heating continues to be the highest energy user in a single family home,” said Carol Suhan, services manager, conservation and energy management, FortisBC. “So for us, this is an opportunity to help families further reduce their energy costs and let them know about our energy-efficiency rebates.”

We’re currently evaluating the results of this project and considering repeating it again this year. In the meantime, instant in-store rebates are available on select ENERGY STAR® certified LED bulbs, fixtures and qualifying lighting controls at participating retailers in our electric service territory until April 30, 2017.

Find a participating retailer near you.​